Web 2.0 NYC – Design and User Experience in an Agile Process

M. Jackson Wilkinson – Viget Labs

Briefly, talking about Waterfall process. It’s incremental.

Moves on to talk more about Agile. There’s a cycle of dev, where on a repeated scale a product is actually pushed out.

Agile is: Adaptable. Iterative. Cooperative. Quality Driven.

But, the truth about Agile in practice. There is DOGMA. Time frame is very constrained? How can a designer produce work on the typical Aglile dev schedule.

So, you end up with design cliches: Path of least resistence. Rounded corners, drop shadows, reflections, etc. That’s why Web 2.0 sites look so similar…there’s no time to do really good design work.

And then, Agile tends to yield Waterfall!

Now that we know it doesn’t work, then, how to we fix Agile?

  1. Skew project cycles. Front-load design before the official agile dev cycle begins.
  2. Make use of Cycle 0. Kind of like planning…stuff you need to do at the beginning, like research, dev overhead like setting up environments, etc.
  3. Define “done”.
  4. Start cycle with planning.
  5. Make sure everyone’s in the SCRUM
  6. Emphasize validation: User testing, show people on the team how it works, etc.

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